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Weekend De-Ranking of Websites by Google Ranking Bug

Only on weekends does the Google Weekend Ranking Bug totally eliminate websites from search results; on Mondays, they are returned.

A potential issue in Google’s algorithm that causes some generic top-level domains (gTLDs) to totally vanish from search engine results pages (SERPs) has been brought up in several Google support forum discussions. Numerous publishers are reporting the same Google Weekend Ranking Bug, all with the same type of gTLD.

The sort of domain name and their total absence from Google’s SERPs over the weekend—some not even being able to rank for their site names—are what unites them all.

Is This A Problem With Quality?

This does not seem to be a quality issue, in my judgment. All month long, every day of the week, a quality issue has an impact on rankings.

Only on weekends and with specific types of domains is the Google Weekend Ranking Bug active.

Is This A Problem That Recurs?

It makes sense to assume that traffic might slow down on weekends as that is a typical occurrence, right?

However, the website’s name and other rankings are also dropping on weekends in addition to traffic. Every weekend seems to be a total de-indexing. Furthermore, it seems that certain types of generic top-level domains are affected by this.

Therefore, no, this is not a typical occurrence of weekend traffic.

Google Weekend Ranking Error

The individual who posted the Google support query provided 14 URLs of other support threads about gTLDs that were having the same issues; nine of the 14 URLs, or 64% of the total, were dated January 2024, while the oldest was posted on November 24, 2023.

Although we can’t guarantee that’s an exhaustive list of support threads on the subject, it does seem remarkable that so many from this year are exhibiting the same peculiar pattern of weekend de-indexing and that it’s affecting these particular keyword gTLDs.

An Example Of Reports On Ranking Anomalies

A publisher using the. consulting gTLD wrote on 1/3/2024:

“There has been a noticeable drop in traffic to our company website as it appears to be disappearing from Google search engine results every few days. During these times, none of our webpages appear in Google, and we’re having trouble figuring out what’s causing this persistent problem.

A different publisher with a.club gTLD posted a screenshot of their Search Console in late December that displayed a same crash and rank cycle.

Screenshot Of De-indexing Pattern

Starting on December 15, 2023:

Weekend traffic always decreases
Our weekend traffic has been declining for the past two weeks.
Less traffic on weekends is typical, thus the decline isn’t as noticeable. The context is crucial: we’ve observed that pages from our website don’t appear for keywords that they typically rank highly for. This also applies to our brand name; the website reappears in the search results on Sunday or Monday after disappearing around Friday.

Starting on January 5, 2024:

“Several times a week, my website drops in the Google results page!

This website (redacted for privacy) saw a brief drop in search engine ranking following November 22, 2023, but it returned to normal on November 22! This occurred on December 7, returned to normal on December 11 (! ), and has since happened four more times!

I verified every possibility when doing this, such as: There are no problems with manual activities or security issues reported. No report on GSC has any serious problems.

Additionally, Google has access to the URL Inspection (Google index and live test) report, which has been blacked for privacy. Before this issue, the website was operating well and had surpassed 60k clicks in just 28 days!

Observe that the “sitemap read” list became empty when this issue occurred, though I’m not positive if this is the cause of the problem or not.

A publisher having the similar difficulty with a.care gTLD replied to a support discussion on January 5, 2024:

“Exactly similar issue—as well as more German and foreign cases.

As you stated, experts are neglecting the fact that the website occasionally reverts to its prior rankings and that inferior websites take the place of the abandoned website.

Another one, dated January 8, 2024, may be found on the.life gTLD:

“Daily indexing and deindexing at random plus the effect on the business profile
Hi there,
We saw an odd result in our Performances report starting at the end of November; it’s not a seasonal decline.
We don’t have any problems with manual actions, and the indexing appears to be okay.

That person posted a screenshot:

Screenshot Of Weekend Ranking Losses

Why Do Websites Expire On Weekend Days?

A long-standing issue that dates back to Google’s early years is the phenomenon where a domain would become caught in a never-ending cycle of deindexation for a month, reappear for a week, and then vanish once more—not even receiving a rating for its domain name. The reason I initially noticed this in 2003 or 2004 was that the domain had a history of spam, and for some reason, that status persisted. The issue was unnoticed by Google for twenty years. The term “Legacy Domain Penalty” was my own.

John Mueller of Google offered his thoughts on the Legacy Domain Penalty:

Another extremely uncommon occurrence that I’ve observed is a website becoming trapped in an odd transitional state within our systems.

Our algorithms eventually deemed the website to be completely awful, and for some reason, it took a very long time for those elements of the algorithms to be updated once more.

I believe the legacy domain penalty and gTLD rank and crash pattern are not the same problem, despite their similarities.

The gTLD weekend rank crashing seems to be primarily related to keyword gTLD domains and isn’t connected to previous spam, it seems. Since Google doesn’t address quality issues in this way, it isn’t a quality concern.

It appears that there may be a glitch in Google’s systems, presumably brought about by a recent addition to their algorithms around the end of November, which is now having an unexpected consequence.

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